OUR PLACE: Brian Courtice with his Grandson Thomas Courtice who will be the fifth generation to own Sunnyside, Brian has applied to get the property heritage listed.
OUR PLACE: Brian Courtice with his Grandson Thomas Courtice who will be the fifth generation to own Sunnyside, Brian has applied to get the property heritage listed. Scottie Simmonds

Bid to heritage list a farm runs into barrier

BUNDABERG farmer Brian Courtice's plan to get his whole farm on the Queensland Heritage Register has hit a snag.

The former Labor Member for Hinkler has applied to have his farm heritage listed to protect South Sea Islander graves that he says are on the property.

Mr Courtice says the heritage listing would also protect fig trees on his farm Sunnyside.

Fiona Gardiner, director of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection's Heritage Unit, confirmed last week Mr Courtice's application had been received.

But Ms Gardiner said after assessing the application, the department was recommending to the Queensland Heritage Council that two fig trees on the property be entered in the Queensland Heritage Register.

A dry rubble wall on Sunnyside, built by South Sea Islanders in the 1880s, was already entered.

"While the department recognises Sunnyside has spiritual significance for many South Sea Islanders whose ancestors worked and possibly died on the property, there is no documented proof or evidence of burials on the site," Ms Gardiner said.

"The department acknowledges Mr Courtice's commitment to honouring the heritage of the South Sea Islanders that lived and worked on Sunnyside, and would reconsider the proposal if evidence of the graves is provided."

Ms Gardiner said there were a number of farms and homestead complexes listed in the heritage register.

However the area of land covered by the heritage listing related to the significant buildings or features remaining on the places.

Mr Courtice said yesterday he had no comment.

He said there was a Queensland Heritage Council meeting on Friday, when the application was due to be considered.



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